The electric catamaran builder Silent-Yachts has rebranded as Silent-Group and is boosting global production capacity to meet soaring demand, after forging a new partnership with VisionF Yachts. Last year the company sold a record 21 yachts, with 17 more in production this year.
“Our company has been growing at an incredible rate over the past couple of years,” a spokesman tells Superyacht Investor. “This growth was spurred by increasing demands of the market. As a result, it was a necessity for us to adapt our structures with a strong focus on the future.”
The Austrian-owned company builds fully electric solar-powered catamarans spanning the range 60-120ft (18-36m).
Speaking last year, Silent-Yachts founder and CEO Michael Köhler, said: “With our 400 employees, we produce in very small batches and each piece is manufactured individually – this not only affects the price, but also availability. But we want to continue to grow.”
To meet this demand the company has expanded its production capabilities with an additional 100,000 sq m (1,1m sq ft) of construction space across two continents. The builder can now draw on three production facilities around the world. Its shipyard on Italy’s Adriatic coast has five construction sheds with 22,000 sq m of covered space and about the same area outside for building the Silent 60 and Silent 80 series.
Silent-Yachts also builds the Silent 60 in the Swiss-owned and managed PMG Shipyard in Thailand. This yard has a 20,800m² facility in Rayong, on the country’s east coast on the Gulf of Thailand. The facility has dedicated areas for each stage of the production process.
A new partnership with Coşkun Bayraktar in Turkey, founder of the Viaport Group has delivered more production opportunities. Bayraktar owns VisionF Yachts in Istanbul and is focusing on the production of the Silent 60 series, 80 series and 100 series plus the new Silent VisionF 82. Construction of each series has begun at Tuzla Viaport Marina (pictured above), where the builder has more than 100,000m² of production area.
Production sites on two continents helps the company mitigate supply chain challenges, according to the spokesman. “The main benefit is to be able to adapt to market needs in a more flexible manner as production loads can be transferred between the different facilities,” he said. “Also, in terms of our supply chain, having facilities across two continents helps us gain quicker access to the required materials and components. This increased flexibility ultimately favours our production speeds and shortens the time from the initial order until the final launch of the yacht.”
The partnership with VisionF also showcases the company’s willingness to help other manufacturers reduce their vessels’ dependency on fossil fuels by incorporating the proven solar technology, said the company. In partnership with VisionF, Silent-Yachts is building a 82ft (25m) hybrid yacht that incorporates both conventional and solar propulsion systems.
But Silent-Yachts has not proved immune from the supply chain problems arising from the global pandemic. “As with any other company, we have experienced a certain degree of supply chain issues due to the many delays caused by the pandemic. Overall, however, we were able to keep them at the minimum and have our facilities running at their maximum capacities within relatively short periods of time,” said the spokesman.
The company is reorganising into seven divisions: Yachts, Tenders, Management, Charter, Brokerage, Resorts and Shop.
Köhler said: “We are now a truly international group with diverse interests requiring more extensive resources and production space. This enables us to collaborate with other shipyards such as VisionF to assist them in harnessing solar technology as a step towards a more sustainable future.”